Debbie’s Blog from Israel #1

Blog Entry #1

January 26, 2023

SHALOM to all our friends and family in Vancouver and beyond…..

This is the beginning of the new month of Shevat and 10 weeks after Yossi and I landed here in Israel.
A country that is adored and admonished,
A country that is beloved and bewildering,
A country that is compassionate and complicated,
A country that is dear and divided,
A country that is innovative and intricate,
A country that is passionate and politicized,
A country that is treasured and tormented. And more…

Today I find myself finally inspired while gathering my thoughts on a train ride from Pardes Hanna to Karmiel to visit our beautiful Israeli born grandchildren.

This blog will be the first of many to share with you about our journey of ‘return’ or rather ‘returning’. This is an active process and hence the gerund ‘returning’ is more accurate than the verb ‘to return’.

This first blog entry will introduce you to the town of Pardes Hanna located northeast of Hadera where we have strategically chosen to reside. It is located halfway between both our daughters, Sivan near Jerusalem and Shani in the North. Pardes Hanna is a unique town of around 43,000 inhabitants with a vibe that is reminiscent of Hornby Island surrounded by orchards and open fields of lemon, grapefruit and orange trees fruitful and symbolic of this region! The people in this town are friendly and obliging and represent a unique diverse sample of the many kinds of Israeli/returning and new citizens that practice their Judaism in a harmonious tapestry of progressive, secular and orthodox traditions.

Here in Pardes Hanna, there are many artisans and people offering many services in the healing arts. Located between Pardes Hanna and its neighboring Karkur is a funky innovative area in which horses’ stables were converted into artisan studios, shops and restaurants.

Read more in this link about Pardes Hannah.

Pardes Hanna The Hipster capital of Israel | The Jewish Agency

My husband Yossi Havusha the founder of Yossilinks Media Inc., known to many of you, remains linked to Vancouver as he still sends email blasts and fields inquiries from far and wide. Yossi continues to send Whatsapp reminders of the weekly Shabbat candle lighting times and the Shabbat prayer schedule to the congregants of our beautiful Vancouver Sephardic synagogue of Beth Hamidrash.

Me myself and I …. Debbie Havusha am finding ways to gather and develop English teaching materials with a unique approach to teaching English in a relevant and experiential way as I had taught Hebrew in Vancouver over the last 8 years.

Living in Israel and thriving requires first and foremost a certain sense of surrender to accepting the aggravating labyrinth of bureaucracy, coping with driving through chronic traffic jams and laughing to the black, slapstick and cynical humor that living in this region requires! Of course, a command of the language is a tremendous asset along with developing the Israeli chutzpah when needed.

Here in Israel, there is boundless beauty meshed with a territorial turbulent emotional landscape. Some Israelis possess an aloof arrogance that can be off-putting but please give them the benefit of the doubt. The last couple of months I have met many kinds, obliging and compassionate people in our ‘returning’ to our Jewish homeland.

Stay tuned for next month’s blog where I will share some tips about how Yossi and I have endured the countless bureaucratic meetings. Many that begin with a smile and end with a smirk or a wink.

L’hitraot from Israel, the land of many many beholders!

DebbieWinks and Yossilinks.


  1. Wow, grandchildren. I remember your daughters moving back to Israel and enlisting in the IDF. Kol Hakavod

  2. Deb, this is a superb blog. I read every word of your well written blog and the info in the link giving so much information about Pardes Hannah. I just love the vibe and you and Yossi have chosen so well a place to resettle in Israel. I have no doubt that the addition of you and Yossi will contribute most positively to the appeal and growth of this marvelous Pardes Hannah.

  3. You writing Debbie is exceptional. Loved reading your blog and will continue to do so.
    Having part of our family there also drives us to spend time in Israel so hopefully we meet at some point to exchange experiences…
    Much love

  4. Its sᥙch as you learn my mind! You seem to ᥙnderstand so much apрroximately tһis,
    such as you wrote the guіde in it or something.
    I think that you can do with a few p.c. to power the message һoսse a little bit, howeveг instead of
    that, that is magnificent blog. A great read. Ӏ will definitely be

  5. Dear Debbie, I enjoyed reading your blog. Your love for Israel and your description of the landscape, vibe, and chutzpah of Israeli culture bring back many nostalgic and lively memories. I am so happy that you are close to your twin daughters and grandchildren. I did not know that you have moved there for good, but whatever the case, I admire your journey in the pursuit of your dreams, living in our Jewish Homeland, and enjoying your Israeli family. May the sunshine keep on pouring its rays of inspiration and hope into all you do and all you value. Amen.

  6. How exciting for both of you and your families. Are you moving there permanently? Will Yossi still run Yossilinks? We just recently returned from Jerusalem where my younger sister and her family live. We were returning fro a cruise which started in Barcelona and ended in Rome where we flew to Tel Aviv from there. We were in Jerusalem for two weeks and my nephew rented for us and the nieces and nephews a condo in Eilatt for the weekend and Bob and I went on a tour to Petra, which was amazing.

    If you will be staying permanently I will make sure to contact you for a visit.

  7. Hi Debbie,
    I REALLY enjoyed reading your blog. I know Pardes Hanna well. We visited our friends Chaim and Laika Rosenthal there so many times…so long ago. I know that I wouldn’t recognize it now.
    Stay strong. Don’t let the bureaucrats get you down
    Looking forward to the next instalment.
    So happy for you